Andrew Lynch pointed me to a New York Times article profiling Hans S. Keirstead; you may recall I've mentioned his research into curing paralysis using embryonic stem cells at the Longevity Meme.
Dr. Keirstead, an assistant professor at the University of California campus here, has been making paralyzed rats walk again, using a treatment based on human embryonic stem cells. Next year he and his corporate partner, Geron, plan to try treating people who have recent spinal cord injuries, in what would almost certainly be the first human trial of any therapy derived from such cells.
"You've got a patient community out there that is in desperate need," Dr. Keirstead said in an interview. "If the treatment is safe, let's get it out there and try it."
And to those who argue that it is too soon to test his technique on humans, he has an answer. "There will always be people who say slow down, slow down," he said. "I guarantee you none of them have relatives in wheelchairs."
Human nature being what it is, we see the same thing happening for research into healthy life extension and cures for age-related degenerative conditions. The folks standing in opposition aren't the ones suffering...